Saturday, 11 February 2017

Seta – Two Michelin-starred Restaurant in Milan

According to Mandarin Oriental's website, the "number of Michelin-starred restaurants in the group's portfolio is more than any other hotel group in the world". Other than its two hotels in Hong Kong, the list includes Shanghai and Tokyo in Asia as well as four in Europe  Barcelona, London, Milan and Paris. Upon arrival in Milan, we made reservations for dinner at Seta which has been awarded a second Michelin star in the 2017 guide and were delighted that a table for four was still available despite it being a weekend. Rain throughout our stay in the fashion capital meant the weather felt more like winter than spring and we could not sit at the courtyard. As much as I would like to try the black truffle tasting menu, it is suggested for the entire table and my dining companions would be compelled to eat the same. For democracy, we decided to order from the à la carte menu and everyone could choose what they wanted.

First to arrive were a vase of crispy breadsticks that I could not stop munching on and a basket of warm breads, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Two kinds of butter were served, one with seaweed, and we requested for olive oil and balsamic vinegar too. After a delectably light and tasty amuse bouche came our starter. One of my dining companions had roasted lobster with mushrooms zabaglione, cardoon and trompette powder while another ate cauliflower with almond milk sauce, yuzu juice and seafood. Found mine  succulent oysters with potatoes, "friggitelli" peppers and Champagne sauce, a tad creamy. For our 1st course, we ordered four different ones. The portion of "Sagne" with seafood, crustaceans flavoured tripe cream and bitter chicory looked big as there was a lot of carbo. But somehow, I managed to finish the salty dish that strangely reminded me of hokkien mee with wok hei.

Waited half an hour before our 2nd or main course, which we chose from the land and sea menus, was finally served. Utterly disappointed with my red wine glazed eel with squid ink aubergine  so salty that I cringed with every bite and had to force myself to swallow! As the dinner duration had dragged longer than we expected, gave the desserts a miss and asked for the check. It took forever to arrive and the petite four came when we reminded the wait staff that we had earlier requested for the bill. There were more misses than hits with the food, something I totally did not expect from a Michelin-starred restaurant, let alone one that has been awarded two Michelin stars. Coupled with inattentive and slow service, maybe that was why we could easily reserve seats for dinner on a weekend three days in advance. Oh, and the restaurant was not full when we were there.

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